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I Have Taken Down the Obama Banner on My Blog

Posted by libhom Thursday, June 26, 2008

Barack Obama, like his two main Republican opponents Hillary Clinton and John "Keating Five" McCain, decided that voting to filibuster the unconstitutional and dangerous FISA law changes in the Senate wasn't worth the bother. Only 14 Democrats and one independent socialist voted to keep this sickening legislation off of the Senate floor.

Obama's inaction is only surpassed by his words. See Huffington Post 6/25/08:

"The bill has changed but I don't think the security threats have changed. I think the security threats are similar," said the Illinois Democrat. "My view on FISA has always been that the issue of the phone companies per se is not one that overrides the security interests of the American people. I do want accountability, and making sure, as I've said before, someone is watching the watchers, that you don't have an administration that feels that it can make its own determinations about when warrantless wiretaps are applicable without going through a FISA court and that's what we had."

There is a boldface lie in there.

This FISA bill is not intended to protect "the security interests of the American people." In fact, it undermines our security. FISA currently gives the executive branch everything it needs to fight terrorism. The purpose of warrantless and unconstitutional spying always has been to spy on domestic political opponents. Obama knows this and thinks he can bullshit the American people, just like McCain and Clinton do.

The problem of the GOP style behavior among most Democrats including Obama and Clinton requires examination, not support. I haven't decided what to do in the fall elections, but I am leaning strongly Green after the FISA betrayal by Obama and the rest of the Democratic Party "leadership." If Obama is going to be a Bush/Pelosi/McCain/Clinton/Hoyer/Cheney clone, then it really is time to give up on the Democratic Party and never look back.



  1. Christopher Says:
  2. It's simply beyond belief.

    I am so disappointed in Obama. Where will it end? Immunity for Big Pharma when they knowingly give us drugs that cause birth defects, cause cancer or heart disease?

    Once the precedent is established, the flood gates are open.

  3. Anonymous Says:
  4. Look, you’ve got to be a tad more realistic than this. Sure, my Apple Mac crashes sometimes, and Apple’s mouse design sucks. That doesn’t mean that I suddenly lost faith in Macs when I realized these things; I know my Mac will disappoint me sometimes–but the key is that Macs are far better than the alternatives (in my humble opinion) and overall have far more positives than negatives. In that sense, Obama is a Mac. He’s not perfect, he’s just really, really good.

    Why is it that when Obama does the first thing that his supporters don’t like, we suddenly lose all faith and see him as “just another politician?” Did we really believe before that Obama walked on water and was a perfect liberal savior? That’s what the right-wingers claimed we were like (”Obamaniacs”), but I at least always thought that was incorrect; I knew that Obama would eventually disappoint me on some issues (just as Bill Clinton did when he was president), that’s a given in this game. It hardly means that he is now officially a sham and a sell-out who’s no better than anyone else. He still is almost exactly what I expected: a far superior candidate worthy of a great deal of respect and support.

    As much as I have been disappointed with Bill Clinton in this campaign, and as much as his philandering and many of his policies (when he swung to the center-right) disappointed me during his presidency, it does not change the fact that he was a superior president, and I would have much, much rather had him that Bush 41 or Bob Dole, far more than Bush 43 and a lot more than McCain.

    As I posted, the FISA thing is a disappointment, and there will be more. But to withdraw support for Obama over that is, I believe, a rather hasty over-reaction.

  5. Musicguy Says:
  6. I'm disappointed, but GLBT people will do far better under his administration than with crusty old McSame.

  7. libhom Says:
  8. blogd: Basic constitutional freedoms are far more important than the relative merits of the various features on a Mac. Obama's support on the FISA bill goes way beyond "the first thing that his supporters don't like."

    You need to take the Constitution more seriously.

    musicguy: Obama is willfully and deliberately violating his oath of office to uphold and defend the Constitution in an extremely dangerous fashion. If he is willing to do so in such a casual manner (and break a promise he made to his supporters in the process), can we really have any reason to expect that he will keep his promises on lgbt issues?

  9. Anonymous Says:
  10. Libhomo:

    The Mac reference was rather obviously a metaphor, not a statement of the equal importance of hardware to civil rights. It would help in any civilized debate if you were to accept things at face value rather than use an honestly-forwarded literary form disingenuously in order to score imagined points in a quick put-down.

    Have you stopped to consider for a moment that what Obama did might have been the best thing? That perhaps Obama's choice gives your civil rights the best chance of being protected?

    Perhaps you believe that Obama is an unstoppable force who can win any battle or should die trying, but consider the possibility that Obama saw how many people were aligned on this bill, and which way, and knew that a battle in the Senate would not just be costly but ultimately would be lost. The vote to filibuster the FISA bill lost by an 80-15 vote; Obama would have to change the minds of twenty senators just for a filibuster, an impossible task even for a sitting president, much less a newly-minted candidate.

    Obama cannot simply snap his fingers and have all Democrats follow. As it has been pointed out to me recently, politicians have to choose their battles. Sure, Obama fighting to the bitter end and ultimately losing might satisfy your armchair whims, but it would ultimately mean nothing in terms of securing our civil rights. Quite to the contrary--it would give the Republicans a potential noose of anti-security to hang around Obama's neck, thus favoring those who would strip even more away. But in the end, such a battle would simply be a loss for Obama--however noble--which would cost him in the election, and could even conceivably hand the election to McCain, depending on how close things could be.

    There is no positive in what you wish for, no chance of a favorable outcome; if Obama fights, he loses, and in so doing risks losing the election overall. Is that what you would prefer? A Republican ready to strip all the rest of your rights away so you could believe in your candidate more strongly by having him fight an unwinnable battle?

    Obama may simply have seen that there was nothing he could do either way, so instead of flaming out in theatrics, he did what politicians do: he chose his battles. If this is indeed the case, then your withdrawal of support is self-destructive and self-defeating, even if it feels self-righteously satisfying.

    The alternative is what Harry Reid is doing right now: pushing the bill back, seeing if he can delay it or even kill it procedurally somehow. Even with this strategy, Obama's support or lack of same would make no difference in terms of winning that battle, and so would only work to make Obama seem weak, a public loser before the election.

    So, what is your strategy for winning this? Where would you get the 20-30 votes? How would fighting this battle not show Obama to be a Quixotic loser in a battle his opponents could claim he was eroding our security by waging? Please do tell; demonstrate how Obama just stripped you of your rights.

    I take my Constitution quite seriously. But the Constitution lives or dies in a political arena, and you may not know your politics as well as you believe. Politics is not a straightforward game; it can be complex and labyrinthine--sometimes you have to lose before you can win. Ignore that, and you can lose those rights you cherish.

  11. Robert Rouse Says:
  12. I am also disappointed in Obama. But that said, there is no way that every decision he makes will make everyone of his supporters happy. While this is the biggest mistake he's made since deciding what church to attend, he's still the best hope we have for changing Washington. Because of this, I will keep my banners, and continue to vigorously campaign for the Illinois Senator.

  13. libhom Says:
  14. blogd: Your decision to engage in such a long winded rationalization filled with warped lgic of the actions of Obama does a better job of illustrating your need to take the constituition more seriously than your trivializing Mac metaphor.

    You also fail to grasp that Obama no longer is my candidate. Spin won't change that. Only a major shift in Obama's behavior could win back my support now.

  15. libhom Says:
  16. This comment has been removed by the author.  
  17. Anonymous Says:
  18. Libhomo:

    Responding to an evidenced argument with a spurious and insulting dismissal is hardly impressive. I suppose Obama will have to do without the support of such logical, rational, and understanding persons such as yourself.

    So, who *is* your candidate now, McCain? I'm sure he'll do wonders for you. Enjoy.

  19. Anonymous Says:
  20. Hey Lib, I understand your point of not supporting Senator Obama anymore. I would not go so far as to call it a betrayal but rather the traditional electoral methodology of shifting to the center.

    The way I look at it is that I am going to support the candidate who can make the most difference to the current state of America and that is Senator Obama regardless of FISA.

    Voting for a third party isn't going to accomplish anything but I will say it is better to vote for someone than not to vote.

  21. libhom Says:
  22. crian: The choice between voting for a third party candidate and a conservative Democrat (which is where Obama may actually be headed) is a choice between long term and short term priorities.

    The short term is pretty rotten now, so it is perfectly understandable that someone would take the short term approach and vote for the conservative Democrat.

    However, the US has been going dramatically downhill ever since 1981 due to a series of conservative Republican and Democratic politicians in the executive branch and a legislative branch that has been either enabling or enthusiastic in pushing a right wing agenda.

    If we don't build up third party alternatives (or some would say second party alternatives), we will continue to end up with the lesser of two evils in every election, while the country keeps declining.

    There is no perfect choice, but people need to be aware of what the choices are that we are really making.



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